Friday, February 08, 2013

Miyajima Island

We decided to explore fairly close to Iwajima today. We took a train and then a ferry to Miyajima Island.  Imagine these pictures when the tide is IN and the buildings and Torii gates appear to be floating.

As you approach the island you can't miss the red Torii gates, a symbol of Miyajima Island. The gates symbolize the sacred...and by putting them at the entrance the island the whole island is considered a sacred place. There are no maternity wards or cemeteries on Miyajima  because no one is permitted to give birth or die on Miyajima. The island is covered in virgin forest as you are also not allowed to fell trees.

As you step off the ferry you are greeted by the Miyajima Deer....reminded us of camping with the Bowers in ID.

While Michael headed for the Torii gates, I took the kids to find some eats. The doors were very interested in this as well.


Very fun show to watch - note the musicians on the left and the dragons rose and fell, twisted and joined together....

We walked along the beach front, enjoyed the sights and snapped a few photos. 

Torii of Itsukushima Shrine is listed as one of  Japan's three most scenic views (Nihon Sankei). The warlord Taira no Kiyomori provided funds for the shrine which was built in the 12th century. The present gate was built in 1875 and is about 50 ft high.

Money is thrown at the gates and is imbedded in the the sand around the Torii gate....

 as well as the structure itself....

 We even saw a quarter amongst the yen


Itsukushima Shrine was founded in 593 and  is built on stilts over a cove. The deck facing the bay includes the oldest Noh stage in Japan.

Goju-no-to - This Five Story Pagoda was built in 1407.
We left the beaten path and wandered down into the local area of Miyajima....twisty streets, interesting businesses...It was REALLY interesting when a truck and a car tried to pass on this street - both refusing to give an inch.

We noted these signs on many of the houses/businesses. We thought they had to do with the business inside...which worked for fish, sushi, and this sign which was on the front of a grocery store.
Our theory was tested when we saw houses with signs of rats, horses and this....
Amazing detail in this piece of wood work

We headed past the shops and town and into the forest...great trails, streams, more ponds and shrines.

LOVE this sign! 

This was a GREAT outing. The Ferry and Train ride were perfect bookends to the start and end of the adventure. The deer met us as we walked back to the ferry and accompanied us.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Traveling Birthday

We celebrated Nolan's 14th birthday today by driving 14 hours from Tokyo - Iwakuni.  A long drive..... We had cake last night....and we'll celebrate more when we get home. 

We didn't take a lot of photos today. We did take some bathroom photos but I'll post those later. LOL  We did enjoy seeing new parts of Japan. 

Beautiful Mt Fuji - the boys CLIMBED this last summer. 

Snow seems to be following us....

 We decided to eat inside. This rest area was the nicest we've seen yet....even had a Starbucks. Nolan and I had curry - he took all the meat! A win/win situation.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...